As we recognize National Foster Care Month in May, Holt-Sunny Ridge is pleased to announce a partnership with The MAGIC Charities Foundation, whose mission is to advocate for and invest in the well-being of children through initiatives in four important areas: children’s health, education, safety, and family relationships.

Holt-Sunny Ridge is delighted to be the recipient of a $5000 grant awarded by MAGIC Charities to support our post adoption therapeutic services for adoptive and foster families in Illinois. These funds will directly benefit families through an endowment for therapy services for uninsured or under-insured families, plus sponsorships for one foster family to attend our Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)®  training series and another to attend our Journey of Hope 2021 family camp.

Camp attendees, their parents, and TBRI®  trained staff enjoy group time

EAGALA equine therapy is a favorite part of camp

We recently had the opportunity to talk to adoptive mom Lauren Pura, who is on the Board of Directors for The MAGIC Charities. She shared her excitement about the partnership and how Holt-Sunny Ridge aligns with the mission and vision of their foundation.

Tell us about your role.

I lead our Adoptive Families and Foster Care initiative. For this strategic priority, our organization is focused on finding ways to support families and individuals that have experienced adoption or foster care. Our other strategic priorities include Children’s Health, Literacy and Education, and Advocacy and Child Safety.

Do you have a personal passion surrounding these strategic areas?

Being an adoptive mom I know first-hand how complex adoptive family relationships can be. I feel extremely passionate about helping other adoptive and foster families connect to vital and successful programs. Many families need support beyond the initial adoption. There are many post adoption services available, but access to quality counseling and other support can be difficult to find.

Supervisor of Clinical Services Pam Shepard demonstrates an activity during therapy

What captured your attention about Holt-Sunny Ridge and their programs?

I believe it’s critical for families to find counselors who have the training necessary for the unique needs of adoptive and foster families, which differs from traditional counseling methods. When I began researching organizations that provide support to these families, what struck me about Holt-Sunny Ridge is that they provide various programs that follow families throughout the adoption and foster care lifecycle. They offer a variety of post adoption services that help to ensure that families are healthy and successful as their children grow.

In what other ways is The MAGIC Charities Foundation engaging in the community?

For adoptive and foster families, we are partnering with organizations that speak to our mission. We directly support the educational and healthcare needs of adopted and foster care children and their families with financial aid, meals, counseling, support, and educational programming. This year we instituted a MAGIC scholarship fund that is driven by the belief that children in need should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams through education. The scholarship fund provides both academic and non-academic support in the form of assistance for tuition, textbooks, housing, transportation, and food/nutrition.

How has the current global pandemic affected programs like yours?

It’s created new challenges for nonprofit organizations like Holt-Sunny Ridge and us, who depend on volunteers and personal interaction to deliver their specialized programs to families and children in need. Holt’s TBRI® summer camps were canceled but will be back stronger than ever next year. At MAGIC, we’re operating “all hands on deck,” and our Executive Director is personally packaging and delivering meals for children that do not have a stable food source while out of school.

The pandemic’s economic impact is widespread. Nonprofits are experiencing a reduction in donations, and their financial resources are diminished. But the need is great, and we’re more committed than ever to support organizations like Holt-Sunny Ridge to ensure vital programs for adoptive and foster families continue.

Read more about the partnership between Holt-Sunny Ridge and The MAGIC Charities Foundation here

For information about post adoption therapy services at Holt-Sunny Ridge, please visit our website.